Abela ‘held hostage’ by Muscat, Delia insists

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Prime Minister Robert Abela is being held hostage by his predecessor Joseph Muscat and his allies, leaving him unable to act against them, Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia said in Parliament on Tuesday evening.

Delia was speaking shortly after Speaker Anġlu Farrugia turned down his request for an urgent debate on the dismissal of government consultant and former police chief Lawrence Cutajar as well as the resignation that is being demanded from Labour deputy leader Chris Cardona.

Though a debate on sustainable development was on the agenda, Delia only referred to the matter tangentially – with Farrugia reminding him that he was off-topic – choosing instead to focus on Abela.

Earlier in the day, Abela had criticised the opposition for boycotting the grilling of designated police chief Angelo Gafà, but Delia questioned whether Cutajar had been grilled before the government chose to appoint him as a consultant last January.

“Did he ask him why he had not investigated Keith Schembri, Nexia BT, Electrogas, Vitals, and all that was happening in Castille which led to the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia,” the PN leader asked.

‘Pulling his strings in every direction’

Delia also said that Abela was inconsistent in his statements – questioning which version should be believed – before insisting that his inability to act was due to being held hostage.

“They are pulling his strings in every direction, leaving him unable to make decisions. One blackmails him one way, and someone else in another manner,” he insisted.

After wondering if anyone still believed that Muscat’s chief of staff Keith Schembri should not be investigated, he issued a challenge to the PM.

“I challenge him to declare publicly that he does not believe Keith Schembri, Nexia BT and Konrad Mizzi should be investigated,” Delia maintained.